Corporate Training and Development, 2021 and beyond: Challenges and Opportunities – Part 1
Corporate Training and Development, 2021 and beyond: Challenges and Opportunities – Part 2
In the first two parts of this series, we talked about learning and development (L&D) challenges in today’s world. From an organization’s point of view, it is no longer just about being able to do one’s job; it is now about adapting quickly to fast-changing norms.
In the last part of this series, we discuss how organizations adapt to the changing nature of work and develop a framework for L&D teams.
Approach to Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
The past two years have been a whirlwind of change. Industries have been going through radical disruptions, organizations are adopting digital transformation at a rapid scale, the education system across the globe had almost come to a standstill, and there have been geopolitical disturbances in addition to the pandemic. Keeping up with all the changes is becoming challenging, with several aspects of organizational and environmental parameters in constant flux.
Given all these considerations, it is time for L&D professionals to start asking: How this rapid change might impact an organization and its employees? What can L&D professionals do to help the organization prepare? What does my role as a leader in L&D entail? How should L&D teams transform themselves and their organizations for the future world of work?
What has changed for L&D?
To take on the new challenges, the first steps for L&D professionals are to identify skill gaps and map competencies when emerging from disruption. Here are some pointers to consider as a start:
- How have roles in the organization changed?
- What new knowledge do employees need to perform well in their respective roles?
- What skill requirements did we not see coming?
- What has changed? How do we update our training courses accordingly?
- How are employees going to learn the new skills?
For Fresh Recruits:
- What new roles have come up in the organization?
- What are the new skills that recruits have to learn?
- What prior knowledge is expected? What is the gap against new skills that formal education may have missed due to COVID disruption?
Answering these questions would provide a good base for the L&D team to draw up an approach to the situation.
Applying the remote work lens
The world is emerging from extended lockdown, and the vaccinated population is starting to return to offices. L&D managers will need to be prepared with specific strategies that address the new norm that would emerge. Industry pundits are predicting that remote work will still be a part of an organization’s operational model. Organizations will most likely tap remote work as part of a hybrid work model.
Applying this additional dimension will provide organizations critical insights into the type of L&D strategies to adopt. Answering some of the following questions may help to identify additional inputs to consider:
- What activities and tasks are mapped for remote work?
- What roles are expected to move to a remote work model?
- Will remote workers still need to travel frequently or be on-site at headquarters?
- How would teams working in a hybrid work model collaborate with each other?
A combination of these questions can help organizations understand how remote work influences their existing talent management processes.
Impact of digital transformation on current and future workforce skills
We know that digital technologies are transforming the world of work. New technologies are emerging and changing how we work, live, and communicate. Technology demands new skills to be developed alongside existing ones, which has a significant impact on the workforce.
According to the World Economic Forum, the world is facing a humungous reskilling mandate. New jobs will be created and some existing ones eliminated. New skills are required which include complex problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking, and the ability to work collaboratively in teams.
A recent McKinsey Global Institute’s (MGI) article on skills needed in the future world of work provides insights into this L&D maze. The set of definitions is an ongoing body of work developed to help governments and organizations comprehend the workforce skill challenges that lie ahead. We encourage you to read the entire article to understand the impact of the recent disruption in the years to come.
Looking into these definitions can provide some insights for L&D teams in their effort to develop a competency matrix to consider while developing a future-ready L&D strategy.
Developing an L&D Framework to Tackle the Future of Work
The future of work is constantly changing and evolving. In a world where the future looks uncertain, companies need to continuously invest in training, as there is a growing talent shortage for new roles created due to recent disruptions.
A robust L&D framework includes inputs from both Training Needs Analysis and Learning (Learner) Needs Analysis.
- Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is a method by which an organization determines the most relevant and critical training it needs to provide to its workforce and the best method to implement that training to achieve measurable results.
- Learning (Learner) Needs Analysis (LNA) takes this one step further by determining what knowledge, skills, and abilities learners require for success with new or modified job responsibilities, and find whether they have barriers to using new skillsets outside of formalized training programs.
Both are vital components of any learning & development (L&D) framework because they help L&D professionals identify gaps between current performance capabilities and skill requirements at each level within the business’s hierarchy. By focusing on these two areas first, organizations can begin developing courses more quickly.
Applying the new set of variables, one can arrive at a future-ready L&D framework that can help the L&D team develop training programs more quickly.
- Fresh recruits
- Demographic info
- Prior knowledge
- Technology proficiency
- Process training
- Systems training
- Leadership development
- New role transition
- ILT / VILT
- Blended learning
What about training fresh recruits?
An organization should assess the amount of intervention needed keeping in mind the recent disruptions in the education systems worldwide, especially for fresh recruits. There is global consensus that there has been a considerable learning loss in the past two years due to an overnight change in the way students learn.
As indicated in the earlier part of this article, in less than a decade, the nature of work and the needed skills for the next-generation workforce will change dramatically. Training managers must realize this and start acting on it now.
Framework in action: Examples
Here are a couple of illustrations of the application of the suggested framework that can help one understand how to go about applying. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when there are so many variables that are in flux.
Every organization has unique needs, and a framework like this one creates the foundation to build on and scale to accommodate new changes.
Example 1: Fresh recruits
Response to new norm identified as
Example 2: Managerial Role
Response to new norm identified as
Disruption is advantageous, especially if one can get ahead of the curve. The bigger question for L&D professionals is how they can be proactive in helping their organizations adapt and thrive in the future, and what kind of knowledge workers will need to have a successful career as they advance?
Future of L&D is a complex topic that requires much work and consideration, but it is definitely possible to use the current situation to our advantage. Leadership teams that embrace the challenge with open arms and prepare for the future now are sowing the seeds for a disruption-resilient organization. They are indirectly building a workforce that is capable of responding to change without being disrupted. The results, in turn, will be a high-performance team and increased worker satisfaction which ultimately sets an organization well for success.
At Integra, we help L&D teams experiment and innovate within their space by providing the much-needed bandwidth through our custom learning solutions, microlearning, XR in learning (AR/VR/MR/360°videos), and training modernization solutions similar to ones done for organizations across multiple industries. Our team of experts can help you design innovative and impactful learning interventions for your organization’s needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you with this transformation!